Happy Monday! I love starting the week off with a fabulous Q&A post. I am honored to feature Zoë Chicco on the blog today and her amazing jewelry and story. Zoë is unique because she is a trained goldsmith who finds inspiration from her surroundings and friends. Her jewelry features 14K gold, oxidized sterling silver, diamonds and semi-precious stones. Zoë Chicco Jewelry has a large celebrity following and her jewelry is sold in over 100 stores across the U.S. and internationally, as well as Neiman Marcus.
What pieces make up your daily uniform of jewelry?
I think of my everyday jewelry as minimal…but when you line it all up, maybe not so much? Most of the pieces have some sort of sentimental value. I wear stacks of 4 rings on each ring finger – which includes my engagement and wedding rings, a bezel set eternity band my husband made for our 10 year anniversary and a little rose gold ring that says “TRU” on it that my besties at Workhorse Jewelry gave me when my son Truman was born. I wear a signet ring on my pinky with a K engraved on it for my late dog, Kaya. On my left wrist I wear my watch and a Cartier love bracelet (not pictured) that my husband gave me when our son was born. On my right wrist I wear a stack of 5 of my favorite mixed gold and diamond cuffs. In my ears I wear a pyramid spike ear shield in one ear and a diamond shaped stud and arrowhead stud charm with diamonds in the other. Typically I layer 2 necklaces – a pave diamond “T” shield necklace to represent my husband, Tim and a dog tag necklace with my son's name, birthday and the coordinates where he was born. Not too much, right??
Describe what a typical day in the life of Zoë Chicco is like.
Typically I wake up to the sound of my little boy starting to stir in his crib. I get up and cuddle with him for a bit then head into the kitchen to make breakfast for us. One of the best things about working for yourself is making your own schedule. I spend quality time with my son every morning which I treasure. Once our nanny arrives, I tend to answer any pressing emails, as once I get into the office other things always come up that need my attention. Once I feel I have gotten through the most pressing things, I head to the office in downtown LA typically around 11am. There I meet with my sales and production teams to go over anything that needs my attention. While occasionally I have a lunch meeting that gets me out of the office, most days I just eat lunch at my desk. If all goes well I will have time in the afternoon to focus on what I enjoy the most, which is designing new pieces. I try to be home by 6:30 at the latest to hang out with Truman and have dinner together as a family before getting him down for bed. Then we start all over again….
How does your experience working at the bench influence your design process?
It greatly influences my design process. For the longest time I would only design within the parameters of my skill set. If I couldn’t make it from scratch myself, I wouldn’t design it. For the most part I still design that way. It wasn’t until my husband, Tim, who is a mechanical engineer by trade, started working with me that I started to think outside my box a little bit. I am able to sketch things that he can model 3 dimensionally. Then we have samples printed in wax that we cast. It is really exciting to be able to work this way, but after 10+ years of doing it my way, it still is difficult sometimes for me to open my mind to it. But I have started to branch out…a little.
Describe your design process, do you like to sketch or do you go right into working with metal?
I always do a very rudimentary sketch of an idea. But in terms of how the piece comes together, that very much depends on what happens once I start to make it in metal. You can’t necessarily tell ahead of time how something is going to feel on, or how it is going to work, or hang. So my sketches are just ideas for the most part. The real design happens once I start working in metal.
What do you enjoy most about being a jewelry designer and business owner?
It is very satisfying to have your own business. I still get excited every time we get a great new account or I see a celebrity wearing my jewelry, or even get an email from a very happy customer. It is all extremely rewarding. I really enjoy the flexibility of being able to make my own hours and schedule (especially when you have a toddler!). I know I am very lucky to be able to make a living doing something that I love to do.
Describe the Zoë Chicco woman.
Oh she could be anyone! That is one of the things I strive to deliver – timeless pieces that appeal to all different kinds of women. I try to offer something for everyone, whether she is classic or edgy, young or more mature.
What is next for Zoë Chicco?
We are working on some collaborations -which is exciting. And we have been attending Paris Fashion Week to work on expanding our international business as well (and it doesn’t hurt to have an excuse to go to Paris!).